What Are Lectins And Why Should You Avoid Them?

I have to admit I first heard about lectins a couple months ago and was a little confused since I had heard of the hormone Leptin many years ago and thought maybe this was a confused mispronunciation.

Well I was wrong

In fact Lectins are not really a hormone at all but is instead a protein that is in some beans and legumes and grains that works as a protector of them. I can imagine that for trees to exist with squirrels around the seeds would need some kind of protection from little predators but I had no idea that this could be the case for people as well.

The fact is that Lectins are everywhere and are great for you in small amounts but in larger amounts, not so good at all. Lectins are thought to play a role in immune function, cell growth, cell death, and body fat regulation.

Where are Lectins found?

Lectins are found mostly in raw legumes and grains, and most commonly found in the part of the seed that becomes the leaves when the plant sprouts, aka the cotyledon, but also on the seed coat. They’re also found in dairy products and in something called nightshade vegetables.

The richest, most abundant sources are the ones we would be most worried about. These are kidney beans, soybeans, wheat, peanuts and potatoes.

Lectins in plants are a defence against microorganisms, pests, and insects. They may also have evolved as a way for seeds to remain intact as they passed through animals’ digestive systems, for later dispersal. Lectins are resistant to human digestion and they enter the blood unchanged.

What Are Lectins And Why Should You Avoid Them?

What is The Problem With Too Much Lectins?

As I mentioned earlier, Lectin in small amounts are very good for you. The trouble is that a larger amount of Lectins will affect nutrient absorption of foods and can really irritate your gut wall. In fact some people have such a bad reaction to lectins that they will have an upset stomach and actually throw up from eating them.

There are also links between Lectins and Inflammation, and Arthritis as well as a few other diseases. So be aware!

Crohn’s disease or irritable bowel syndrome are diseases where the stomach lining and intestinal walls are irritated which makes digestion both incomplete and very difficult, I really feel for these people and the stomach problems that they live with daily. For these sufferers it seems the gut lining is even more sensitive to Lectins

The great thing about Lectins is that they are pretty easy to avoid if you are at all careful. And I am not talking about some crazy diet or weird new foods. Just proper preparation.

Cooking foods will lower Lectin levels. For example, with red kidney beans there is a Lectin called Phytohaemagglutinin, the presumed toxic agent, is found in many species of beans, but is in highest concentration in red kidney beans. The unit of toxin measure is the hemagglutinating unit (hau). Raw kidney beans contain from 20,000 to 70,000 hau, while fully cooked beans contain from 200 to 400 hau. White kidney beans also known as cannellini beans, contain about one-third the amount of toxin as the red variety; broad beans contain 5% to 10% the amount that red kidney beans contain.

There are studies that seem to show though that a slow cooker will not be enough to destroy the Lectins, so I better find a better way for my chilli recipe.

The Soybeans mentioned earlier also have their Lectin issues fixed by simply cooking them.

Grains also contain a type of Lectins, that although lower, could be a real problem since we all tend to eat a lot of grain based foods. The lectins are mostly destroyed by heating and cooking.

Potatoes, Tomatoes are also higher in Lectins as they are a Nightshade Vegetable. The Lectins in both of these are not reduced by cooking but they have not been linked to any kind of stomach upset. There is a chance for the Lectins in in Tomatoes and potatoes though to cross the gut barrier into the . blood and may be a cause of inflammation.

Peanut Lectins are also impervious to heat. The good thing is there are not as many Lectins in peanuts

So the real takeaway for us all really is to remember to cook any beans thoroughly and not to eat an abundance of tomatoes, potatoes, or peanuts although in moderation there does not seem to be much trouble with any of these three.

Article source: http://www.fitnesstipsforlife.com/what-are-lectins-and-why-should-you-avoid-them.html

What is a Turducken?

You’ve served turkey for Thanksgiving but how about Turducken at Christmas?

Every year people will cook up a Turkey. One year maybe  you decided on chickens. Or even went all-out and tried a duck a few years ago. Are you looking for something new, something unique, to serve as the main course this Christmas?

How about taking all three of those birds and combining them into a single fowl monstrosity known as the turducken?

What is a Turducken?

A turducken is a dish comprised of a de-boned chicken that is stuffed into a de-boned duck, which is then stuffed into a de-boned turkey. The empty cavity of the chicken is often then stuffed with a traditional breadcrumb stuffing, or even a spicy sausage mixture.

What is a Turducken?

The turducken is not an entirely new phenomenon, as roasts of nested birds have been documented for centuries, such as the Yorkshire Christmas Pie, which consists of up to five birds nested and baked into a crust.

This layering of bird within bird, has even been traced back to the Middle Ages, when farmers would try to avoid husbandry taxes by hiding livestock inside one another.

The modern turducken, which is steadily growing in popularity, is generally attributed to the specialty meat shops in the southern United States, specifically Hebert’s Specialty Meats in Maurice, Louisiana.

Creation of this crazy but good sounding meal is often associated with the famous Cajun chef Paul Prudhomme, who created this dish as part of the festival Duvall Days in Duvall, Washington, in 1983. These claims are mostly unverified, and many people simply agree it is an idea that is centuries old.

Other Varieties of a Turducken

Other variations of the modern turducken replace the turkey with a goose, creating what is known as a gooducken. Or, you can wrap the turkey in bacon and create the bacon-and-bird-lover’s dream: a Turbaconducken.

There are several companies that prepare ready-to-roast turduckens, or you can tackle the somewhat daunting task of making your own. Many families get together at Christmas and split the work involved in the making of turducken. So if you’re looking for something unique to serve on your table this Christmas, try turducken!

Article source: http://www.fitnesstipsforlife.com/what-is-a-turducken.html

What is the Raw Food Diet?

I just saw an article on CNN about a woman that lost 160 pounds on the Raw Food Diet. Many people ask me about this because the Raw Food Diet seems like a natural and safe way ot lose weight.

Raw food diets can be a great way to not only lose but also led a much healthier, natural lifestyle in general. Most raw food diets are plant-based, with at least 75% of the diet composed of raw food.

Food examples include living and raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, rolled or flaked grains, and seaweeds. Some adherents may also eat cooked grains and legumes, fresh fish and poultry. For the strict raw food diet, however, nothing should be heated over 116 degrees Fahrenheit.

Some raw food dieters can be classified as vegans as well.

What is the Raw Food Diet?Raw Food Diet Terms

Raw: a material that is in its natural, unprocessed form, e.g. a food that has not been cooked
Vegan: a person who ascribes to a philosophy and lifestyle the seeks to exclude the use of animals for food
Enzymes: biomolecules that catalyze, i.e. increase the rates of, chemical reactions
Legumes: the seedpod of a leguminous plant (such as peas or beans or lentils)
Unpasteurized: refers to a liquid that has no gone through the process of heating for the purpose of destroying bacteria, protozoa, molds, and yeast.
Organic: in reference to foods that are grown without the use of conventional pesticides, artificial fertilizers, human waste, or sewage sludge, and that were processed without ionizing radiation or food additives.

Should you try the Raw Food Diet?

Good side advantages of the Raw Food Diet are numerous. This is a great lifestyle decision in a lot of ways

  • Raw food diets have proven to improve digestion as well as other general digestive disorders
  • Research supports that a diet of at least 75% raw foods can help prevent illness and cancer
  • A diet rich in traditional nutrient dense foods has been linked to greater overall dental health
  • Those who select a raw food diet often report losing and maintaining the loss by continuing the diet
  • Some research supports that a raw food diet increases the intake of antioxidants, thus slowing down premature aging
  • Skin complexion is often enhanced by the raw food diet
  • Those who chose a raw food diet often report an increase in energy and a general feeling of “well-being”
  • The heating of many foods can reduce both the vitamin and mineral content

Bad side of the Raw Food Diet

There are a few drawback of a Raw Food Diet.

  • The diet can be time consuming in the preparation of food and the need for shopping every couple of days
  • Those who chose a raw food diet often get stymied by the seeming lack of food variety
  • Some nutrients and vitamins are actually made more absorbable by the heating process – there is a calculated risk in eating unpasteurized dairy products.

So what is the scoop then? Should you switch to a raw food diet?

Well I am not sure that I can answer that question. Most people go on a short term diet and learn some new eating skills that the move to a new lifelong changed diet for them.

In the case of the Raw Food diet you would actually be changing your entire lifestyle to eat only natural uncooked foods. The decision is yours but for most people I think the upheaval in lifestyle is probably not worth the trouble for most.

Article source: http://www.fitnesstipsforlife.com/what-is-the-raw-food-diet.html